Archive for March, 2012

The Border Run to the Devil’s Porridge Museum

Posted by ColinSteer On March - 15 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Geoff has asked me to post this information so that people are briefed on the visit before the day. The entry fee for the museum is only £2.50 for over 60′s and £3.50 for adults.

Border Run to the Devil’s Porridge Museum at Eastriggs.

Guidance and notes about the importance of this site.

Please read before attending.


When Britain went to war against Germany in 1914, it was unprepared for 5 years of conflict, there were insufficient armaments and explosives!  Before the war there were about 5 shell and explosives works and by 1919 there were nearly a hundred.

The area between Longtown and Dornoch was ideal for development and hamlets like Longtown, Gretna and Eastriggs were developed into small towns.  The area was flat, well served by railways and out of the way of the German Air Force.  At its peak of construction some 30,000 people worked in the area.  Initially Irish navvies did the construction work and in production, the site employed many young women on Munitions Work.

Because of the drunkenness of the construction workers, Lloyd George took over the Pubs and Breweries in the whole area, right down as far as Maryport.  Many of the workers were taken each day on special trains via The Solway Viaduct from Bowness on Solway to Annan.  The State Management Board controlled the Pubs and Brewery (s) up to 1972! when it was Margaret Thatcher’s first Privatisation.  The Pubs built during the 1920′s and 30′s were models of family hospitality with social activities; i.e. Bowling Greens.  The Redfern Inn on the corner of Etterby Road was a classic State Pub, specially built.

The Hotels you pass in Gretna along the B721 are former Officer’s Messes and at the traffic lights at Gretna Village (the road with the shops on the left hand side) was also a Railway Route to the H.M. Factory, Gretna! – Central Avenue had the main offices; shops, bakery and laundry.

Near Rigg on the left hand side you will see a Chapel built for the workers. After the war there was an auction and the buildings were largely demolished; not much remains to remind us of this vast works spread along the Solway.

The Gretna and Eastriggs Trust have recreated a museum at the Devil’s Porridge to preserve this heritage.

We hope you will come and learn some of this history.

Geoff Brazendale


Borrowed from their website http://www.devilsporridge.co.uk/















Upcoming Activities!

Posted by ColinSteer On March - 14 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

We are all looking forward to getting out and about on the bikes again and April sees us riding into Ireby for bacon butties, tea, coffee and cakes at the Village Hall on the 14th. Then, we follow up with a different Border Run on Sunday 22nd. , where we will take a short route from Geoff’s to the Devil’s Porridge Museum at Eastriggs.